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The Airmen's Stories - P/O G L Howitt


Geoffrey Leonard Howitt was born on 29th January 1914 in Beddington, Surrey. He was employed as 'Surveyor for the Air Registration Board' when he joined the Class 'F' Reserve in September 1936 as a Sergeant u/t Pilot and began training at 13 E&RFTS White Waltham.

In October 1937 he transferred to the RAFVR as a Sergeant u/t Pilot and trained at 19 E&RFTS Gatwick, 23 E&RFTS Rochester and No. 1 E&RFTS Hatfield.

Called up on 1st September 1939, Howitt was posted to 10 FTS Tern Hill for an assessment of his flying capabilities. He joined 245 Squadron at Leconfield in November 1939 and was commissioned in April 1940.





On 9th October 1940 Howitt was posted to 615 Squadron at Prestwick. He moved to 85 Squadron at Debden on 18th November 1940. He destroyed a He111 at night on 9th April 1941, on 11th June damaged a Ju88 and on 14th July shot down a He111. In August 1941 Howitt was posted to 51 OTU Cranfield as an instructor.

He was awarded the DFC (gazetted 30th September 1941).

He rejoined 85 Squadron, then at Hunsdon, in April 1942. Howitt destroyed a Do217 on 12th April 1943 and a Fw190 on 16th May. In June 1943 he was promoted to Acting Squadron Leader and made 'B' Flight Commander. Early on 23rd August he destroyed a Me410 and on 7th September a Fw190.

Howitt was awarded a Bar to the DFC (gazetted 26th October 1943) and posted away to 63 OTU Honiley.

In April 1944 he joined 456 (RAAF) Squadron at Ford as 'A' Flight Commander. On 10th June he probably destroyed a He177, on 8th August a V1 and on the 12th probably another. Howitt took command of 125 Squadron at Coltishall in December 1944 and led the squadron until he was released from the RAF on 6th October 1945 as a Wing Commander.




Above: members of 85 Squadron - L to R F/O JA Hemingway, P/O GL Howitt, F/O JE Marshall,

S/Ldr. PW Townsend (kneeling with dog Kim) and F/O WF Carnaby (leaning on propeller squadron scoreboard).


Howitt died in May 2001 in Worthing.


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